How to paint a motorcycle helmet cheaply

Written by cheryl torrie
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Painting a motorcycle helmet doesn't have to cost a lot. You can sand, prime and paint a motorcycle helmet at home, even if you do not have a spray gun and paint booth. The outer shell of a helmet, made from fibreglass, carbon fibre or injection-moulded plastic, can be customised with paint and become a work of art that you are proud to wear. Choosing the right materials and taking the time required to do it correctly will save you the cost of a custom paint job.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Helmet
  • Car wash soap
  • Dish washing detergent
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloth
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Wrapping paper
  • Urethane primer
  • Acrylic paints
  • Detail paintbrush
  • Clear acrylic top coat

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  1. 1

    Remove all decals and clean the helmet with car wash soap. Allow it to air-dry for 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Apply a small amount of dish washing detergent to a damp sponge and wipe down the outer shell of the helmet to remove any fingerprints and oils. Wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth.

  3. 3

    Sand the helmet with a sheet of 120 grit sandpaper and wipe it with a damp cloth.

  4. 4

    Cover all of the areas of the helmet that you will not be painting with a combination of wrapping paper and painter's tape.

  5. 5

    Spray four light coats of urethane primer on the outer shell. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's specifications between coats.

  6. 6

    Paint your custom design onto the helmet with a detail paintbrush dipped in acrylic paints.

  7. 7

    Spray eight light coats of clear acrylic top coat onto the helmet. Allow each clear coat to dry for 30 minutes between applications and wait one hour after the last coat before removing the tape.

Tips and warnings

  • Your design can be traced onto the helmet with a coloured pencil and then painted.

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